laos

going to where? ©papa osmubal

going to where? ©papa osmubal


laos

song zijiang

in a French restaurant
whose waitresses were Laos
stuffed with strangers
baguette on the table
news fromThailand
on the telly
the loudest noise
foreigners’ talking
woven up to the ceiling
like evening mosquitoes circling
buzzing overhead
as if old days when the sky
was crowded out by
the bombers

a closed-down cinema
on the iron bars of the ticket window
layers of spider webs still
dust on the sill looks cold
kids laughing, running after
one another
blonde girls made for them
gesturing
for ‘take photo’ with them
laughter finished
people flocking round
stalls at the front
venders spruiking aloud
for bootleg DVDs
of Hollywood movies

on the bus to the airport, a local
young man sitting close,
in English
haltingly that he was on
the way to Australia
to study English. the ‘NBA’
on his sports suit was particularly
shiny. and he told me
that Americans dropped half a million
bombs on Laotian soil half a century ago
but it seems only the Lao people
still remembered this
and everyone else
remembered Hiroshima
and Nagasaki. I turned
my head to the window.
The further
I peered, the more rust-red
shell-holes I saw, spring onions growing from them
fresh white
and green and sturdy

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